Outlook Won't Accept My User Name & Password

Updated February 21, 2017

E-mail client programs like Microsoft Outlook are a convenient alternative to accessing your e-mails through an e-mail website. Client programs download your messages from your e-mail servers and save them in local folders on your computer, allowing you to send and receive all of your e-mail within the client program itself. Outlook-type client programs must be configured with your e-mail logon information to work properly. Therefore, if there is some technical problem preventing you from accessing your e-mails, you will often see messages indicating Outlook was not able to verify the user name and password you have saved in your Outlook account. Taking a few steps can narrow down the problem and help determine what is preventing your connection to your e-mail service.

Check the user name and password settings in Outlook. Navigate to Outlook's account manager by opening the "Tools" menu and clicking "Accounts," "Account Settings" or "Email Accounts," depending on which version of Outlook you are using. In the accounts window, highlight the account you are trying to access by clicking on it once. Verify that the user name is filled into the proper field; also make sure that you only type the user name of your e-mail and not the entire e-mail address (as in, "johnsmith" rather than ""). Also make sure your password is filled into the password field (usually represented by a series of dots). Retype the password just for good measure, and make sure the "remember password" field is checked. Try checking for new messages again. If Outlook still does not accept your user name and password, further troubleshooting is required.

Verify your Internet connection is working. Often Outlook will present a pop-up window asking you to type in your password only because it cannot detect a working Internet connection to use. Pull up an Internet browser and navigate to a few Web pages. If you see any type of connection error, contact the technical support department of your Internet service provider (ISP) and have a representative troubleshoot your connection. If your browser displays the Web pages with no connection error messages, you know your Internet connection is working and therefore Outlook should be able to connect to it. If Outlook still requests your e-mail user name and password, proceed to Step 3.

Contact the technical support department of your e-mail service provider. Have a representative verify that you are using the correct e-mail password, or even have him reset it to a new password and type that new password into Microsoft Outlook. If you verify you are using the correct password for your e-mail account and Outlook is still not accepting your user name and password, have your e-mail service provider troubleshoot your Outlook account, or contact Microsoft technical support for a possible software malfunction with Outlook.

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About the Author

Eoghan McCloskey is a technical support representative and part-time musician who holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and political science from Texas State University. While at Texas State, McCloskey worked as a writing tutor at the Texas State Writing Center, proofreading and editing everything from freshman book reports to graduate theses.